Monday, September 8, 2008

Only the wearer knows....

"Life is full of unexpected events", as Prof. Swati puts it. My life has also been having its share of unexpected happenings recently.

To begin with, got rejected at the Rhythmica auditions. As Amma correctly, and, irritatingly so, put it , I haven't really been practising much over the last three years, so, surely my singing has deteriorated. But, used to giving exams unprepared and, luckily, doing well at them, I had developed an exhalted self image, and, the rejection just burst the ego balloon. My first reaction was - "I made a fool of myself. I'm not going back there, ever." Over time, the feeling changed to -"I'm going to practise real hard, go back there at the next auditions and show them what a good singer they rejected." Now, once the wounded pride stopped smarting and ground state was reached, the feeling is -" will try and practise whenever I can, and, give the auditions a shot next time round as well." If nothing, I should at least have perseverence, esp. given that I'm embarking on a PhD :D

Now for something of more immediate consequence. Taklu, at the hostel office seems to have developed an utter dislike towards me. After school, I can safely say this is the first time it's happened. Somehow, I never have had problems in communicating with non-academic staff, auto drivers, shopkeepers etc. Even at Bombay, where I couldn't speak Marathi, I always was greeted with a smile by them. I make it a point to be polite and say "please" and "thank you" and, greet them with a smile. And, generally, everyone reciprocates it. There have been flower sellers and fruit vendors, who, even in the first time I met them, have told me "agli baar paise dena" when we both couldn't find the required change; Canteen wallas who agreed to whip up a coffee and maggi even after the canteen was officially closed; dhobis who agreed to press clothes in urgency when needed, cleaning ladies reguarly talk to me, ask me if I have had lunch etc; Paani puri walas who tell me their woes about police who demand hafta and so on and so forth.

As a stark contrast to this, Taklu seems to hate the sight of pauvre moi. Even when I try to talk to him politely, he's painfully rude and extremely unhelpful. As a result, I've ended up getting a lousy room at IISc and he's unwilling to help me change. Because of which, I'm commuting daily.

And, this commuting is draining me out. Got caught in the pouring rains today. Our Bangalore roads are like golf courses, filled with pits, dunes and holes, all of which get covered by an uniform layer of drainage water when it pours. And, this always brings in tow the most horrendous traffic jams of Bangalore.

It was one such day today. Left IISc at 630 today and reached at 8 pm. Took 1.5 hrs for what usually takes 30 to 40 min. And, also got drenched and waded through sewage water. Kept myself amused in the traffic jam by coming up with innovative gaaliyan for Taklu and creative ideas to crack open his head :P. On a more serious note, the lack of interest and apathy shown towards my situation by several of the people in power, left me shaken up. I kept feeling that these people have the authority to help me but are completely disinterested and unconcerned. Why can't they empathise with me and help me out? But, it's only the wearer who knows where the shoe bites. Until and unless it strikes close to home, people can only sympathise, if they choose to. To empathise, they have to know how it feels to go through it. And, in several cases, as long as we are not directly affected by something, we cannot fathom the gravity of the problem.

Today, while shivering in the rain, I thought of the Bihar flood vicitms. I got drenched for only a short while, in spite of that I was shivering. I came home, took a hot water bath, wore warm clothes, ate hot food that amma cooked, and slept in a cozy bed with a nice thick quilt. While, those poor souls have lost everything to the floods and have become destitute. They, too, must be resenting the apathy shown by the rest of the country. Though funds might be collected, nothing can give back the people what they've lost, nor will the Govt take suitable measure to ensure it will not repeat. Coz, the Govt cannot empathise, not until it stands in the victims' shoes and sees how it feels.

1 comment:

Adwait said...

well,went thru with a similar experience with the fiend who sits in d hostel office,but finally got my way by some good old "marathi" sweet talk..d trick is to catch him wen he is not swamped with work of similar nature...i wanted to change my room within d hostel and for dat he made me walk d steps of d office thrice...d fourth time around he was d epitome of sweetness and finished d task in 5 minutes..catch him wen he is not in his bad mood..wot u say about ppl in power is absolutely true...dey kno dey have us by our throats and milk d situation for all it's worth..not d same case if u r a relative of theirs tho.. ;)